So, you’ve started the job search, and that can be intimidating on its own. But, as an LGBTQ+ student, you may feel a different kind of intimidation, in wondering whether your future employer is fostering an inclusive workplace. You may also want to give back to the LGBTQ+ community with your job. In this article, we will talk about finding jobs in a career that is both inclusive and fulfilling.
- It is always important with any employer that you do a bit of research before you consider applying for a position. This is a good way to make sure that an employer is a good fit for you, and more importantly concerning being a member of the LGBTQ+ community whether or not it is an inclusive workplace. This can also be a good way to see whether a company is just inclusive or if they take active steps and actions to align themselves with the LGBTQ+ community in positive ways.
Sometimes you might want to do a bit more research if you’re unable to find what you want upfront. You can deep dive into a company’s website, their social media accounts, as well as any other literature or web pages that they’ve posted. This could be the difference between a company actively taking steps towards LGBTQ+ acceptance in the workplace and other aspects of life, and just having a simple diversity statement on their site. It is up to you to decide what you require from the company you’re working for and how deep you need their commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusivity to go.
- For your next step, you might want to look into any other LGBTQ+ connections that you are familiar with. This can be anything from connections that you have on LinkedIn, friends in the community, or people you might meet at local LGBTQ+ organizations, spaces, or support groups. There is a chance people in these groups will already be in the workforce in your area and are perfect people to ask about the experiences that they’ve had at companies you’re interested in applying to, or even just to ask about their general experience in their career. This can help you to decide if a company is a good fit for you.
If you’ve already found a position that you’re interested in applying for you can speak with out LGBTQ+ people who work there and ask them any questions you might want to know. This is called an “informational interview.” You can ask if they feel accepted at work, and what the company’s diversity policies are, as well as if there’s anything specific, they think you should know when working as an LGBTQ individual at this company.
It is important to remember that your application and an interview are not only ways for your prospective employer to get to know you, but also a way for you to get to know them. While it is not required for you to ever tell an employer your gender identity or sexual orientation on an application, it can be a way to test the waters. If you get a call back from a company that you have disclosed these parts of your identity to there is a chance that they are LGBTQ+ inclusive. It is always important to remember your safety, and only disclose things you are comfortable with.
While interviewing it is important to listen and ask questions, you may be curious if there are gender-neutral restrooms, attention to LGBTQ+ events and initiatives, and also you can see if there is diversity in the office. Paying attention to how your interviewer and any employees you talk to speak can be a clue as well, specifically looking to see if people use gender-inclusive language, classist language, and any gender biases in the way they talk about job roles. Mostly, it is important to make sure you are prepared with questions so you are not taken off guard, as is important with any interview.
- One final step may be looking into the health and family benefits that the company provides its employers with. If the company provides a health plan that excludes trans people that can be a sign that the company does not have trans employees’ best interests in mind. Other things to keep in mind would be to make sure the company’s parental leave policy is aligned with all parents, in case parenting is something that you’re interested in during your time working for the company.
Keeping all of these things in mind when researching companies that you want to apply for is always important, both to make sure that all of your needs are met, and if being out at work is important to you. Good places to research companies can be on their website, find past and current employees on LinkedIn, and by reading reviews of companies from employees on Glassdoor. You can weigh all of these factors into your search, and always remember to ask yourself what you want out of a company that you are applying for, and not just what they want from you.
If you need help with any aspects of the job search be sure to make an appointment with one of the Center for Career Development’s Career Coaches: https://career.uconn.edu/meet-with-a-career-coach/
Photo by Steve Johnson: https://www.pexels.com/photo/orange-yellow-green-and-blue-abstract-painting-1704120/